Skip to content

with Samsung Stepping Stone of Hope A Greener Tomorrow

the World’s Young People

We are not seeing
the end of protection,
but the start of

independence shield
you met
outside the shield

Another independence shield
you met outside
the shield

Offering warm support and hope for 18-year olds making their first forays into the world!

Stepping Stone of Hope, a collaborative effort between Samsung and Community Chest of Korea, was launched with ideas and donations from Samsung employees. Adolescents living in children’s care facilities or foster homes are obliged to leave child protective services upon turning 18, regardless of their will. Since 2015, Samsung has been supporting these young people who are forced to leave protective services and make their way on their own, helping them prepare for an independent life in a safe environment by offering shelter and practical help in everyday matters. We “stand together” alongside them so that vulnerable young people with nowhere to go may learn to stand on their own as fully fledged adults.

Step by step,
Samsung is by their side,
helping them adjust to society
and achieve independence

Every year, about 2,400 children leave care facilities and take their first steps into society without any support. These young adults are without legal guardians, therefore unable even to purchase a mobile phone or sign a real estate lease. In their aid, Samsung is establishing Stepping Stone of Hope Centers in 10 localities across the country.

Source: [June 2021, Ministry of Health and Welfare] Status of Child Welfare Facilities in 2020

Samsung Stepping Stone of Hope
nurtures the ability to make
your own place in society

Eligible group Program Details
Foster youth
(15–17 years old)
Aged-out foster youth
(18–25 years old)
Education for everyday life Career training Support for self-sufficiency
Education on knowledge and skills for everyday life,
education on personal finance and asset management,
emotional support, etc.
Aptitude tests, career counseling, job placement and
recruitment in the area of interest
Provision of individual studio housing (one room per person) and
customized integrated case management services

When you’re on your own at 18, you need more help than you think in order to survive. Samsung prevents young people from falling through the cracks by establishing self-reliance programs that offer integrated support for everyday tasks and emotional aspects, with a focus on essential and practical needs.

Stories of independence,
of worries and loneliness
transformed into stability and
dreams of the future

We help them overcome reality
that can seem insurmountable,
step by step, together

Even for adolescents from ordinary families, living on one’s own is not so simple. The Stepping Stone of Hope Program provides young people with individual studio housing, and helps them transition into independence by teaching them how to cook, look after their health, and look for jobs. We are now witnessing successful cases of independence through the Stepping Stone of Hope Program. Here are some heartwarming stories of those youth, and their mentors in life who accompanied them on their journeys.

Taking that first hopeful
step into society!
Samsung Stepping Stone of Hope cheers them on

  • “The Stepping Stone
    of Hope is their
    first home, where
    they get ready
    for life as a grownup.”

    Soyeon Kim, the social worker at the Jeonbuk Center

    The Stepping Stone of Hope Centers offer residents a fine living space, with bright, clean surroundings and staff ready to offer help when difficulties arise.
    As the Korean saying goes, “People build homes, and homes complete people”. At the Stepping Stone of Hope Centers, young adults preparing for life as adults are provided with a stable environment in a first home they can call their own.
    We hope that young folks who come to the Centers will regard their stay as an opportunity and a gift, and hope to see them become good role models for those who will be gifted the space in the future.

  • “You can get closer to independence with help from a career counseling expert.”

    Yuna Ham, social worker, Chungnam Center

    Young people go through a lot of educational and training programs before protective services end, but I think educating them afterward is actually more important. Because that’s the point when the vague notion of working life becomes a reality. On top of offering housing support, Stepping Stone of Hope offers well-established educational programs on personal finance and work that are necessary for everyday life. One-on-one counseling with a career expert allows young people to discover their aptitude and make concrete plans, while actively thinking about prospective careers. During this process, I witnessed many kids opening up about themselves, and becoming stronger emotionally. For example, there was a young man who was not able to adjust well when he first came to the Center, but he became noticeably brighter and more positive after receiving psychological counseling and going through floriculture internships. Witnessing his transformation reminded me once again of the importance of professional counseling.

  • “It’s not that they are
    They just do not know,
    because they’ve never been on
    their own before.”

    Donghae Kang, social worker, Gyeongnam Center

    When I was 20, I went away to college and started living on my own. I was so inept. Since I didn’t check my mailbox, my utility bills went unpaid, and because I put off doing the laundry for so long, I had to spread some out on the floor after I ran out of space on the drying rack. Also, since I didn’t bother ventilating the room, I developed fungal infections on my skin, and had to receive treatment for it. From time to time my parents would check up on me, and stock up my refrigerator with food and check whether my room was clean. The only reason I am now functioning as an adult, responsible for managing my own health and my own space, is because I had other grownups around me who kindly reassured me that no 20-year-old could be good at independent living. I don’t think the difficulties faced by the young people preparing for an independent life now are all that different from what I went through. I hope that Stepping Stone of Hope can take on the role of a protector for them and help them accumulate the wisdom they need in life, knowing that they are not incompetent, but that they are just young and need help figuring things out.

Stories of the young people
who experienced
Stepping Stone of Hope

  • “I managed well
    on my own because
    I had my own space
    and there were staff
    members who were
    like family to me.”

    Yewon Lee (pseudonym), resident, Chungnam Center

    At the preliminary interview, the first question they asked me was what I thought independence was. I answered that it meant I had to do everything on my own, without the protection guardianship afforded me. However, the burden of managing on my own weighed on me, and I wished I had some grownups around me that I could trust. At the interview conducted before leaving the care home, they asked me where I would be staying, and I told them I would definitely be going to the Stepping Stone of Hope Center. During the final interview, I started out by saying, “I want to live a good life,” at which point I burst into tears. I was so desperate. After I passed the interview and entered the Center, I found that I could manage quite well on my own thanks to the space I had to myself and the staff who treated me like family, although it was hard cooking and cleaning by myself. I am so thankful.

  • “I want to grow up
    and help someone
    else in turn,
    in the future.”

    Joowon Oh (pseudonym), Gwangju Center

    I was in desperate need of money to settle down, and a place to stay where I could feel safe. I was able to solve the issues of money and housing, which were my biggest concerns, through Samsung's Stepping Stone of Hope. Seeing how my life, which had always seemed so daunting, has been transformed with someone’s help, I now dream of someday being able to help the children living in the care home I used to live in.

  • “Thank you for helping me become independent
    while staying in
    such a comfortable
    and safe place.”

    Yeongbin Lee (pseudonym), resident, Gwangju Center

    When I first became self-supporting, being financially independent was my biggest worry. Due to my circumstances I couldn’t get good housing, and I was uneasy all the time having to buy school supplies and daily necessities and eating my meals outside all the time. One day, I received a text message informing me of the independent-living dormitory, and that’s how I came here. First of all, the financial support and support for daily necessities improved my life considerably. Since it’s newly built, the dormitory is comfortable, secure, and quiet, so I can focus on my studies. Also, the various self-reliance programs run by the staff were of great help. I am eternally grateful for this, because I think that such support is only possible if those providing it are interested in our welfare over the long term.

Explore more about Sustainability